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The Political In/Correctness Continuum

On Thanksgiving weekend my reaction to reading this piece  https://www.arcamax.com/entertainment/humor/belowthebeltway/s-1897248  by Gene Weingarten led me to e-mail him at the address listed at the end of the article. The following thread is the result of our exchanges so far. Attempts to verify that G.W. actually wrote the response sent from his e-mail address received no reply. [This is my mindset whenever people complain about political correctness in the 21st century.] Political correctness in not new in the U.S. or around the world. It's had many names and iterations: Jim Crow, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Indian Schools, the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent, the Salem witch trials, "no Italians/Irish/Greeks/Jews..." signs and policies, the Holocaust, the persecution of Alan Turing and other QUILTBAG people, the Rwandan genocide,,, Until we decide to honor the truth that every human being's intrinsic value is equal to that of every o

The Divided States of America

The electorate has chosen the next U.S. president. Not-Hillary sentiment overcame Never-Trump sentiment and too many people love (or at least tolerate) his hate-mongering. Will the 45th president-elect speak and behave differently as president than he did as presidential candidate? My sincere hope is yes. Although it feels as if more than clocks have been set back this November 2016. Wisdom and godspeed to the next administration.

#1 Reason for Booze Day Tuesday?

Sometimes performing one's civic duty feels like time spent in purgatory. May we all work toward an effective political truce as a result of this election. (Yes, my Pollyanna streak is showing.)

More Halloween Week Treats

The Great Pumpkin granted this blerdy book glutton's wish for tasty reading treats with a new MJD title available for loan from the library and the latest RG title on sale for fifty cents at their book donations sale bin. Yay! (instead of Boo!) Now maybe the powerful spirits of the authorsphere will conjure new fiction titles from Frankie Y. Bailey and Crystal Hubbard (Meljean Brook, Marjorie M. Liu, Sugar Jamison, Jo Goodman...).

At Last!

Receiving this box of books felt like Christmas in October. Many thanks to my publisher and my editor at 5 Prince Media Group for their unwavering support and impressive efforts to make this gorgeous print edition of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure a reality. [giddy happy dancing] https://www.amazon.com/Dodging-Eros-Through-Present-Pleasure/dp/1631121855/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476316088&sr=1-1&keywords=cardyn+brooks

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, [add your Mad here] Mad to the Nth Power World

So Colin Kaepernick's silent, non-violent protest generates more outrage from some people than the loud, violent attacks against marginalized people. Gun ownership is patriotic and supports Second Amendment rights, but kneeling during the national anthem in protest of injustice and to demand equal protection under the law for all U.S. citizens doesn't support First Amendment free speech? The disturbing video of Terence Crutcher's death in Tulsa, Oklahoma is so sad and frustrating and infuriating. And yet it's only the most recent in a long list of such incidents. We must have practical ways to keep law enforcement officers safe without making this pattern of preemptive executions the permanent norm.

2nd Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Update

Murphy’s Law continues to wreak havoc with the print edition of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure . It’s probably going to be available for the end of the summer reading season, which is why the 2nd Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway has been extended to Saturday, December 10, 2016 with the second winner’s name posted by Saturday, December 17.   Extending the 2nd GGG entry period until the end of the year opens up eligibility to readers who buy or review any of my titles per the updated details listed below. No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited. Every previous eligible entrant remains entered except for Paula S., who won in February.  Good luck! Adjusted details here:  2nd Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Extended until 12/10/2016 Hello, Reading has been a brain escape for me since my dad used silly voices at bedtime to enact each character from my collection of Dr. Seuss books. The launch of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Pres

If Not Now, When?

Monday celebrated U.S. independence while so many of its citizens live bound by the fear that the laws and the people who are sworn to enforce those laws will not protect them from the dangers of negative assumptions made about them based on their skin color, gender, sexual orientation, social class, religious affiliation, age or physical stature. Thank you to the people and organizations working toward eliminating the deadly consequences of implicit bias in policing. https://trustandjustice.org/resources/intervention/implicit-bias

Questions of Virtue

Why is the person who has been raped granted less consideration than the convicted rapist? This (most recent) Stanford rape case exposes society's refusal to define rape as a crime, especially when the rapist is a winning athlete, all-American type or popular or wealthy or powerful or famous or projects some other superficial trait that too often trumps judging their actions according to high benchmarks of ethics, honor and decency. The convicted rapist's letter made me think he was a narcissist at best or a sociopath at worst. Emily Doe's Every Woman's letter made me cheer for her grit and courage.  

Frames of Reference

The concept of  "white privilege" usually generates vigorous debate and push-back about whether such a thing even exists. For me as an adult, the phrase makes me think about the unconscious expectations of automatic inclusion and representation in everyday life because during my childhood picture books (#WeNeedDiverseBooks & #1000blackgirlbooks says it's still true today.), posters, and the people shown in picture frames didn't look like I looked. It took years for me to understand the trickle-down effects of exclusion as a form of rejection of the equal intrinsic value of some people's existence while still feeling entitled to those rejected people's consumer dollars and brand loyalty. Inclusion and representation have always been important to human beings. Consider primitive cave drawings, burial masks, and ancient statuary. Having one's existence positively acknowledged is a sign of invitation, welcome, respect and admiration. It's posi

Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Extended Until August 6, 2016

This giveaway is now closed.  Many thanks to all of the readers and reviewers! After many delays of the Murphy’s Law variety, the print edition of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure is scheduled to be available for the summer reading season, which is why the Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway has been extended to Saturday, August 6, 2016 with the second winner’s name posted by Saturday, August 13. No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited. Every previous eligible entrant remains entered except for Paula S., who won in February.  Please see the original Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Facebook page February 21 posting for eligibility terms and details. Good luck!

The Formula for Success

There’s a publishing company that uses algorithms to calculate the number of elements and probability of success for book manuscripts. Now as a capitalist my support is strong for ethical endeavors that up the odds and accelerate the speed of generating profit. And winning recipes and formulae have been applied in literature composition for millennia. The Iliad and The Odyssey rely on the repetition of visual cues and cycles of conflicts, journeys, and returns to keep listeners (originally) and readers engaged. Other storytelling templates and tropes endure: the three-act structure; the poor, innocent ingĂ©nue and the wealthy, jaded older man; star-crossed lovers; the love triangle; the mistaken identity and many other popular storylines. But how can a mathematical formula calculate the unquantifiable x-factor that makes Room by Emma Donoghue an international bestseller adapted into a critically acclaimed and commercially successful movie when other novels about traumatized, yet

Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway 2nd Round Extension

Since Easter weekend starts spring break for some adults and ends it for others, the 2nd round of the Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway has been extended until Saturday, June 4, 2016 to allow for the beginning of the warm weather reading season. Everyone who has already reviewed and/or purchased Dodging Eros is still entered (except for Paula S., who won the first round;-). Best wishes & good luck! Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Extended until 3/26/ 6/4/ 2016 Hello, Reading has been a brain escape for me since my dad used silly voices at bedtime to enact each character from my collection of Dr. Seuss books. The launch of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure by Private Moments Publishing (an imprint of 5 Prince Publishing) seems like the perfect opportunity to offer reviewers and readers a chance to win a mini-retreat from the demands of being a grown-up and to focus on the pleasures of being a consenting adult. Giveaway Details: A mid-week, 3-day/2

PoP Debate Question 10

In fiction and in real life, romantic love and marriage are packaged and marketed to girls and women as essential components to having a fulfilling life, while romantic love and marriage are treated as optional for boys and men. [ex. media coverage of Jennifer Aniston and Taylor Swift as bachelorettes versus George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio as bachelors] How do these opposing ideas impact hetero and QUILTBAG monogamous relationships? 

Politics of Pleasure Debate Question 8

What does the current “Girl” trend in mainstream adult contemporary fiction reflect about society’s attitudes toward grown women? The Adventures of Anglo Ingenue and Stone-Cold Billionaire (intro) an Absurd Theater vignette setting: party as corporate networking event tabloid moniker: Stoglo He trapped my and gaze and refused to release me from his stare as I watched him work his way across the ballroom filled with the industry's power brokers. This man was dangerous. His bespoke tuxedo couldn't hide the rough edges of his bad boy, bad ass, dominant, alpha shark intensity cutting through the chum of posers and hangers-on who tried to catch his attention. He ignored them. This sexy man's reputation as a rebellious genius with a bad attitude in business and an insatiable appetite as a connoisseur of sin made him irresistible. I knew I was in way over my head...

Congrats to the Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Paula S. in the southern U.S. for winning the Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway along with a Travel Journeys & Destinations swag bag. Remember, there's still time to enter the extended giveaway until 3/26/2016 by reviewing and/or buying Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure . See the details here: https://www.facebook.com/Dodging-Eros-Grown-Ups-Getaway-Giveaway-457817364426217/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

PoP Debate Question 7

The phrase, “I’m protected,” is still spoken by some female characters in contemporary romance to indicate that it’s safe to have sex without a condom because she’s taking contraceptives. What, if any, impact does this non-scientifically based attitude have on public health campaigns that support safe sex initiatives to prevent the transmission of STIDs? 

Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Winner & Extension

Thank you to everyone who entered the Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway to celebrate the launch of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure by Cardyn Brooks! The winner will be announced by Saturday, February 27, 2016. Didn't win? Cheer up. There's a second chance for those who have already bought and/or reviewed Dodging Eros or do so by March 26, 2016. Good luck! Here are the updated details: Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Extended until 3/26/2016 Hello, Reading has been a brain escape for me since my dad used silly voices at bedtime to enact each character from my collection of Dr. Seuss books. The launch of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure by Private Moments Publishing (an imprint of 5 Prince Publishing) seems like the perfect opportunity to offer reviewers and readers a chance to win a mini-retreat from the demands of being a grown-up and to focus on the pleasures of being a consenting adult. Giveaway Details: A mid-week, 3

PoP Debate Question 6

Hi. Welcome to the Politics of Pleasure Debate connected to the launch of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure by Cardyn Brooks from PrivateMomentsPublishing.com. Questions 1--5 start with earlier posts beginning Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The intention is to examine the ways in which mainstream contemporary fiction reflects and contradicts the evolution of society's demographics and mores. What are some examples of the persistence of slut-shaming in mainstream contemporary romance novels?

PoP Debate Question 2

Why is the sex in serious, critically acclaimed fiction so often sad, mad or bad; adulterous, incestuous or otherwise felonious, and disproportionately disappointing for characters who are female, non-Anglo and/or QUILTBAG with consequences that are bittersweet, tragic or catastrophic? 

Politics of Pleasure (PoP) Debate Question 1

In the pop culture age of Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Admiral Michelle Howard, U.S. Army Rangers Capt. Kristen Griest & 1 st Lt. Shaye Haver, Ashley Nell Tipton, robust engagement and growth of the members in the Society of Women Engineers, and more female college undergrads than male in the U.S. and many other countries, why are women still judged according to their relationship status, physical appearance and body weight more than for their intelligence and accomplishments? 

Read Between The Lines Blog Tour for DODGING EROS

http://www.rbtlbooktours.com/p/blog-tour-schedules.html http://www.privatemomentspublishing.com/cardyn-brooks.html

Language Barrier

When the switch from singular to plural gets lost in translation Observation: Spell check doesn't work in a vacuum, and there are reasons why some cute reusable totes end up getting sold at the dollar store.

Patrons Behaving Badly

For many reasons the public library is one of my favorite places to visit. (Blerdy = black + nerdy!) It's quiet, except during children's story time, but hearing all those high-pitched voices oohing and aahing as the tale unfolds is the cheerful sound of future readers. Plus, they're young kids. Their behavior gets viewed with some leniency due to their youth. Lately, whiny adults have been harshing my usual library buzz with their complaints about how loudly other patrons are tapping the keys on their keyboards. (Earbuds exist for a reason.) Another so-called adult loudly and repeatedly complained that she shouldn't need to wait in the queue for the next available computer because some people were only playing games and should get bumped from their seats in favor of people who need to do work. (Um, the library's been open for hours; you should have come earlier.) With silent (It's the library!) cheers from the nearby patrons, the librarian scolded this narcis

DODGING EROS: Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Reviews Campaign

Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Hello, Reading has been a brain escape for me since my dad used silly voices at bedtime to enact each character from my collection of Dr. Seuss books. The launch of Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure by Private Moments Publishing (an imprint of 5 Prince Publishing) seems like the perfect opportunity to offer reviewers and readers a chance to win a mini-retreat from the demands of being a grown-up and to focus on the pleasures of being a consenting adult. Giveaway Details: A mid-week, 3-day/2-night getaway for two adults (both at least 18 years old) Entry period will run from 12:01 a.m. ET Monday, January 4, 2016  until at least 10 reviews of Dodging Eros are posted to Goodreads and Amazon.(1) Winner will be chosen by random drawing, and announced on the Blerdy Binge Reader blog (BlerdyBingeReader.blogspot.com) and posted to the Cardyn Brooks Facebook page by 30 days after the mini